No new iPhones every year? I know what you’re thinking: “Wil, you’re an idiot.” Well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve heard that before but I’ve heard that idea– about no need for new smartphones every year– more frequently. Just this week, as a matter of fact.
The folks who run ZDNot have writers of the standard ilk; they are required to write something interesting in each article. Perhaps useful, sometimes argumentative, occasionally so far off base you’ll read it anyway. Other times, headlines end with a question mark. What does that mean?
The Law Says
Look around. You’ll see headlines that end in a question mark almost everywhere you look. TV network news. Cable TV news. Local news. And, most definitely all over the internet. Why? A question mark at the end of a headline gets the writer off the hook from proposing something stupid, even though 400 words later he gets paid.
Do we really need a new iPhone every year?
See the question mark? That’s what’s known as an example of Betteridge’s Law of Headlines. Yes, it’s a thing.
Betteridge’s law of headlines is an adage that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” It is named after Ian Betteridge, a British technology journalist, although the principle is much older.
To be fair, the Law is much older, probably going back to the early days of punctuation (regardless of the language), but you get the idea. Also to be fair, the Law may have been intended to be humorous, and it gets used that way often, and may not be the literal truth (but it often seems that way).
Same goes for Android smartphones. Is there anything in yearly refreshes for the end user?
See? There it is again.
So, what started the little ZDNot rant? Was it concern for the environment and what a few hundred million smartphones do to soil the soil each year? No. Was it concern that Apple and Samsung are a misfit monopoly which, well, monopolizes the entire industry’s marketshare, revenue-share, and profit-share? Uh, no. Not that, either.
Well, then, what is it? Owen Williams on Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy Note 9:
Like you’d expect, it’s rectangular, it has a screen, and it has a few cameras. While unveiling what it hopes will be the next hit, it unknowingly confirmed something we’ve all been wondering: the smartphone industry is out of ideas.
Uh, no. Just false. Fabricated argument of the non-sensical nature. We get new cars every year (and they have been using planet earth far longer than smartphones) and all have wheels, tires, engines, doors, glass, and metal. See? Move along. Nothing to see there.
The argument that the smartphone industry is out of ideas is lame because we get new and better and more improved and more durable devices every year. Not just hardware. Software, too. You know what’s out of ideas? Technology journalists that work for major online publications like ZDNot. They’re out of ideas.
Instead of regurgitating PowerPoint bullet points from hardware manufacturers, how about putting some usability to the test? How about consorting with readers to find out what they like, what they don’t like, and why it’s not the same everywhere? How about some insightful analysis instead of bringing out the same old same old retreaded article topics every few months?
No new iPhones every year? Hey, God doesn’t judge smartphone owners any different than Windows users. If you don’t want one, don’t buy one. If you don’t want to write about a new smartphone which likely is completely new inside each year, write about something else.
I got a good headline that sums up the entire situation.
Are Major Technology Writers Out Of Topics And Ideas?
Betteridge’s Law does not apply to that one. The answer is obvious. Yes.